SELF-CARE FOR DOCTORS IN A COVID WORLD
Specific to COVID-19 supports:
- Dedicated COVID-19 remote community travel hotline for the NT - 1800 518 189.
- Coronavirus Health Information Phone Line is 1800 020 080.
- Doctors support phone line - Doctors' Health NT - telephone 8366 0250 (operated by experienced GPs)
- Link to self-care information for health workers here.
- Looking after your mental health beyondblue resources here.
- Visit your respective College's website with details of webinars and other supports that may be useful as well.
- Resources fact sheets from EASA, and details of EAP for health workers across the NT
- The psychological needs of health care workers as a result of Coronavirus pandemic - paper by British Psychological Society - download here.
- Bush Crisis supports for remote health workers & their families - https://crana.org.au/workforce-support/bush-support-services
- Great podcast by Dr Sarah Newman from WA Doctors' Health Service about looking after yourself during this challenging COVID time -listen here.
- Caring for people with COVID-19 - Supporting Australia’s healthcare professionals with continually updated, evidence-based clinical guidelines - view website here.
Five Principles of Self-Care
- Optimise your immune system by avoiding fatigue and sleep deprivation, alcohol and smoking.
- Come to work fully rested and adequately hydrated.
- Ensure your diet has plenty of fruit and vegetables and add a supplement of oral vitamin C (250mg) and zinc (25mg) on a daily basis. Eat modest amounts of really good food.
- Walk, exercise to around 2.5 hours each week. Don’t overdo it and avoid it late in the evening.
- Maintain your non-medical interests and pursuits when away from work. These are invigorating.
- PPE is good for you. Doctors work in risky work environments. Use PPE.
- Aim for best-practice at work - frequent handwashing and make full use of gloves and masks.
- Insist on good signage and staff training at work to protect your key personnel at work.
- Carry disposable gloves to wear when not at work such as when using public transport, shopping or public bathroom facilities. Avoid sick people when not at work.
- Avoid stress emanating from COVID news overload and excessive exposure to early morning and late evening news.
- Ensure you are fully immunised against influenza.
- Remain well-informed, using a reliable single source of information
- Maintain a calm and consistently positive manner, whilst leading by example with handwashing and using PPE.
- Avoid endorsing unqualified sources of COVID information.
- Do not go to work if unwell. Support colleagues who are unwell and are not at work.
- Encourage your colleagues to consistently aim for best practice.
- Role model for others, especially staff, students and patients.
- Remind all staff and colleagues at every opportunity of the standard expected.
Pathway of care (for yourself or a colleague)
- Seek the formal care from your own GP where possible. We encourage this strongly.
- If you do not have your own GP, Doctors' Health NT has a list of some GPs who are able to see doctor-patients - details here.
- A 24/7 Phone Advisory service for all Northern Territory doctors is available on number 08 8366 0250, operated by Doctors' Health SA experienced doctors for doctors.
- Telemedicine consultations are available, operated through Doctors' Health SA, more information here.
Download a copy of this as a handout here.